The Premier League, a football league often considered the best in the world, has been in the spotlight thanks to its controversial use of VAR (Video Assistant Referee). Controversy continues to haunt the use of VAR in this league, and the most recent involved Liverpool in the match against Tottenham on Saturday (30/9/2023).
In this match, referee Simon Hooper appeared very controversial. His decisions cost Liverpool dearly, with 6 yellow cards and 2 red cards issued to Jurgen Klopp’s side. Losing two players is very difficult for any team, even one as great as Liverpool.
Despite losing players, Liverpool managed to score a goal in the 34th minute through Luis Diaz. Unfortunately, this goal was disallowed after VAR determined that Diaz was in a controversial offside position. However, the controversy doesn’t stop there. Liverpool, who defended with nine players, had to accept a painful defeat in the 90+6 minute.
The question arises, why does the Premier League, which is often referred to as the best league in the world, still have problems with VAR? It’s important to remember that the Premier League has been somewhat slow to adopt VAR. They decided to use it in the 2019/2020 season, while other leagues such as the Italian Serie A and Spanish La Liga have used it before. Even the French League and Portuguese League are also quicker to adopt VAR technology.
Also read: Drama of 2 Red Cards and a Rain of Yellow Cards Covers the Tottenham Hotspur vs Liverpool Match which Ends with a 2-1 Victory for Spurs. Apart from that, the Premier League applies strange rules regarding VAR that are different from other leagues. One strange rule was that the main referee on the pitch was initially prohibited from looking directly at the VAR monitor.
They can only listen to the advice of the VAR referee. This rule is very different from other leagues which allow the main referee to look at the monitor directly if the VAR referee does not make a definite recommendation. Recently, the main referee in the Premier League has begun to actively watch the VAR monitor directly, but the quality of the referee is also a problem.
Premier League referees seem outdated and less open to technology. They prioritize old methods and take pride in leading the match. Technology, such as VAR, is sometimes seen as a distraction by them. VAR is a major breakthrough in modern football, and every referee must adapt. This is where the problem lies, as Premier League referees seem more reluctant to adapt.
VAR policy changes, such as prohibiting the main referee from looking directly at the monitor, only complicate the situation and add to the controversy. In conclusion, the Premier League, as a league that is considered the best in the world, must adapt more quickly to VAR technology and evaluate the quality of their referees.
The ongoing VAR controversy not only harms teams in the premier league, but also damages the image of a league that should be at the forefront of technological innovation in football. It is the Premier League’s responsibility to ensure that VAR is used fairly and effectively to maintain the integrity of the Premier League competition.